Greetings from San Antonio [again!]. I just got back from a few days at South Padre Island [and the Mexican border] and started my just-over 1900 mile trek north to the great country of Canada over the next week. Here’s a picture of Bobz World – possibly the world’s biggest attraction of useless SPI tourist paraphernalia – but they did have a giant gorilla that I thought was worth sharing :).
I do a lot of work online. I usually work 8-9 hours/day [at least] doing online marketing for my day job, 5-10 hours/week consulting with friends and advising others and several hours a week writing here at BIT, and supporting others who are doing great work.
Once you start online work, there’s a temptation to do more of it. The more of it you do and the more success you taste the bigger the temptation grows and it becomes really tempting to just do more and more and more online.
- Write more posts.
- Tweet more posts.
- Comment on more blogs.
- Post more on facebook.
- Send another email.
- Write another ebook.
- [Insert your favorite traffic building activity here].
There’s always more to do and more you still haven’t finished up that you should be doing. If you’re not careful it can turn into a growing snowball of activity that keeps growing for no apparent reason. Pretty soon, instead of crafting the story, and the message of the projects you’re working on, you’re spending all your time and energy promoting them and no matter how much you do, there’s always so much left that you haven’t.
Sometimes you just need to just sit back, relax and breathe.
This week I’ve spent a lot of time unplugged. I’ve been spending some time seeing some old friends, meeting some new ones, spending lots [and lots] of time driving, chasing the sun and having lots of good conversations.
All of that happened offline.
If you follow me on twitter, you’ll notice my twitter stream has been fairly quiet this week with a few short flurries of activity.
- I haven’t had straight internet connections 24/7 like I do at my office
- I’ve been busy having non-work related fun [which, contrary to some popular belief, is actually…well…fun!].
Guess what? Things at the job took care of themselves and nobody hates me [yet]. Things here at BIT did went fine and and traffic actually went up. Who would have thought?
A lot of people will extrapolate this to mean that I’m saying your online presence doesn’t matter at all and that you should completely ignore it. That’s couldn’t be further from what I’m trying to say. Don’t worry, I’m not quitting facebook, shunning twitter or deleting my blog. That’s not revolutionary, that’s reactionism. I have met a lot of cool and interesting people through my blog, twitter and facebook [pst-if you’re reading this, you’re on of them!] and I have no intention of cutting any connection with any of you. That’s not what I’m saying that at all. Repeated-sentence-in-bolded-print-for-those-who-skipped-the-last-one– I’m not saying that at all. I honestly enjoy every last interaction I get to have with you guys and I’m thankful you guys take time out of your day to read BIT. Seriously.
However, what I am saying is that it is very easy to get caught up in the “just-do-more-online” activity time trap [ironically similar to the “just-work-more” time trap so many Tim Ferriss devotees are trying to escape].
Twitter doesn’t need your constant attention. You don’t need to be “FIRST” in the comments sections. You don’t need to like more pages on facebook.
None of that matters [as much as you think]. Whatever you do in life, your first objective should be to do something interesting and worthwhile.
- If you run a blog like BIT, you should probably try to live a better story.
- If you run a business, you should probably try to focus on creating a better product.
- If you provide a service, you should probably try to find a need and fill it as much as you can.
Take the time and build the story, marketing and message into what you do. Then do what you will with the rest and take the time to breathe every once in a while.
A Note Just For Bloggers:
If you’re not doing interesting things offline, you’ll struggle writing interesting things online. The more interesting things you do, the more people want to read about you. If you live an interesting story with your life, you won’t have a problem writing it down. So do something interesting…then write about it. Need help making your life interesting? This post by Fabian Kruse might help. You can also read my story about living life on the edges of reality.
Want to do more online? Try doing more offline first and then go write about it.
If I’ve been slow getting back to you, have no fear…I will be getting back to you and things should be getting back to normal next week :).